Before the start of the 2011 season, many Kansas City Chiefs fans expected the Chiefs to be heading into week 5 at 3-1 or 4-0, and leaving week 5 with one more loss than when the week started. Those of us who started out pre-season with realistic hopes and expectations expected to be heading into this game at 2-2, and leaving week 5 at 2-3.
The season has not started the way either group expected. The Kansas City Chiefs limped into the regular season and were subsequently knocked down completely with key season ending injuries to Eric Berry and Jamaal Charles in the first two weeks, games which resulted in losses for the Chiefs.
Many fans who had high hopes for the Kansas City Chiefs to repeat as AFC West champions quickly changed their bandwagonership, instead turning to the “Suck for Luck” campaign to ease their minds, campaigns led by those who had less than stellar expectations to begin with.
Yet, here we are, Chiefs enter week 5 with a very solid opportunity to enter the week 6 bye week sitting at 2-3 after facing an Indianapolis Colts team tho is greatly feeling the effects of losing, arguably, the best quarterback of our generation to season ending (most likely) neck surgery… Leaving me, yes me, as seemingly the only optimist remaining in Kansas City.
5 Reasons the Indianapolis Colts could beat the Kansas City Chiefs:
Yep… That’s right. The Colts have been much better since Painter has taken over for the injured Kerrry Collins.
>You may argue that Painter completed only 13 passes in his first career NFL start last Monday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is true. 13 completions in 30 attempts for 281 yards, an average of 21.6 yards per completion. Yep, lots of big plays…
Rick Semmler, sports director at WTHI, Terra Haute, Indiana: Painter has guided the Colts on their only 3 meaningful touchdown drives of the season. Kerry Collin two touchdown passes came when the games were already over. The key for the Colts will be their offensive line. They are a make shift unit at best right now, the Colts really can’t run the football so they have to be able protect Painter. Painter proved with time and his strong arm he can find the open receivers throwing for 281 and 2 TD’s in his first career start vs. Tampa Bay.
Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis
One of the best defensive end combos in the NFL, Freeney and Mathis will definitely challenge Matt Cassel in the pocket, and every Kansas City Chiefs fan knows about Cassel’s propensity to panic when the pocket breaks down.
Dave Furst, Sports Director at WRTV-6 (ABC) in Indianapolis: The 1-2 punch of Freeney-Mathis is still a threat. The two have 6 sacks and 3 forced fumbles in 4 games.<
Jason Spells, Sports Reporter for WRTV, Indianapolis, Indiana: Robert Mathis & Dwight Freeney are playing at a top level.
Rick Semmler: The Colts are built for leads, so if Indy gets the lead watch out because they will release their sack masters Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Neither are great against the run but together are nearly unstoppable on passing downs as the Pittsburgh Steelers found out during week 3.
Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Game
Although the Colts are built to play with the lead and their definitive weakness is defending against the rush, especially the up-the-gut rushing game, the Chiefs rush game has been a mere shell of their 2010 powerhouse rushing offense. Although the Chiefs are still in the top half of the NFL, ranked #14 with 110.8 rushing yards per game, anyone who watches the Chiefs regularly difinitely notices the drop off from 2010′s 164.2 yards per game with Jamaal Charles lost for the season and Thomas Jones getting very old, very fast.
The Chiefs are planning to give 4th year RB Jackie Battle a bulk of the carries on Sunday. Battle has 37 rushing yards on 10 carries in 2011. I assume the decision to give Battle a bulk of the carries is to combat Indy’s weak interior rush defense.
I like the decision. Battle is a big back, at 6’2″ and 238 pounds. My fear is the Chiefs will stick with the plan, even if it isn’t working.
Peyton Manning Returns to the Sideline
Manning will be on the sideline in week 5. For years, we have heard about Manning being a “Coach on the Field.” For the Colts sake, hopefully Manning can go into teacher mode and away from the “all the snaps are mine, you can’t have even one” mode, we have heard about in the past. I suppose it is easier to “coach” when you absolutely cannot play.
Dave Furst: Peyton returns to the sidelines. An extra set of eyes like Manning’s can’t hurt, especially for Painter who seemed more comfortable in Tampa
Chiefs Offensive Play Calling
Sure, the Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings in week 4, but the Vikings are a team I picked in the pre-season to be one of the worst in the NFL. The Chiefs won the game by 5 points (22-17). The Chiefs have a tendency to start of slow and vanilla with the offensive play calling.
The Chiefs MUST be aggressive from the beginning with the play calling. Falling behind early will mean certain loss.
BetUS.com currently has the Chiefs as two point underdogs. Indy has experienced the glory of an elite NFL quarterback, now they have felt the impact of the loss of that same elite QB… It feels like Indy, as a whole, may be buying into the “Suck for Luck” campaign in fear of complete NFL obscurity once Peyton Manning retires.
Now way Pierre Garcon really drops that many balls without trying, right?
I am taking the Chiefs to get their 2nd win of 2011.
Kansas City Chiefs 24 – Indianapolis Colts 17
What are your thoughts on the game? Let us know in the comments section below!